Achinoam Nini was born in Bat Yam to a Yemeni-Jewish family. She lived in New York City from age 2. She attended SAR Academy and the Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Upper School of Ramaz High School, and remained in New York until her return to Israel alone at the age of 16. After serving the mandatory two years in the Israeli Army in a military entertainment unit, Noa studied music at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Ramat Hasharon, where she met her long-time partner and collaborator Gil Dor. She is married to Asher Barak, a pediatrician. They have three children, Ayehli, Eyneha and Yum.
Noa has performed in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, Olympia in Paris, Rome's Colosseum, The Barbican in London, Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, California, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Montreux Jazz Festival and Paleo Music festival in Switzerland, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, the North Sea Jazz Festival and Carre Auditorium in the Netherlands and the Stockholm Water Festival in Sweden, as well as numerous successful tours of major venues and festivals throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Brazil and Japan.Noa has recorded songs in Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Thai and Yemenite.Noa and Gil Dor have had various ensembles since their early days as an acoustic duet but their most long lived musical relationship has been with the noted percussionist Zohar Fresco. The three have played hundreds of concerts together all over the world. The ensembles vary from album to album ranging from rhythm section through Solis String Quartet and up to symphonic tours.Noa's music is most prominently influenced by the singer-songwriters of the 60s, such as Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and James Taylor. These musical and lyrical sensibilities, combined with Noa's Yemenite roots and Gil Dor's strong background in jazz, classical, country and rock, have created Noa and Gil Dor's unique sound, manifested in hundreds of songs written and performed together. Noa plays percussion, guitar and piano.In 1994, Noa performed the English version of Ave Maria
for a live audience of 100,000 and a TV audience of millions at the culmination event of the International Year of the Family at the Vatican, Rome, Italy, witnessed by Pope John Paul II.Noa and Gil Dor have performed on numerous occasions with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. They recorded an album with them during a live performance at Tel Aviv's Mann auditorium in 1997. Over the years their symphonic projects have multiplied, including concerts with Symphony Orchestras from Lille, Messina, Parma, Murcia, Firenze Symphony.In September 2003, Noa performed a vocal work entitled L'isola della Luce
(after the Greek island on which it was performed) written by Nicola Piovani especially for her. The work was commissioned by the Cultural Olympics Committee in Athens.On May 1, 2004, Noa and Gil Dor, together with the noted Israeli rhythm and dance troupe Mayumana, gave a joint performance between the two final games of the Euroleague basketball championship, broadcast to thousands of television viewers around the world.Together with Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad, represented her country at Eurovision Song Contest 2009 with the song "There Must Be Another Way", qualifying to the final from the first semi final and eventually finishing in 16th place.
- In 1999 Noa was honored with the "Crystal Award" by the "World Economic Forum" in Davos, Switzerland, where she performed together with Palestinian artists and participated in numerous panels dealing with peace in the Middle East and the role of art and artists towards bringing it about.
- In 2000, the mayor of Melpignano, Italy, awarded honorary citizenship to Noa and Nabil Salameh, Palestinian singer songwriter with Michele Lobaccaro of the group "Radiodervish", for their activity for peace.
- On April 3, 2005, Noa became the first woman to receive the medal of the "Galileo Galilei" order from the "Grand Orient", the Italian arm of the Freemasons organization.
- On August 7, 2005, Noa received the "Gemona Seminar" prize for artistic excellence and her contribution to peace and understanding.
- Noa won the "Critics' Award" at the 56th Sanremo Music Festival in Italy, appearing with the Solis String Quartet and Carlo Fava.